FAMILY SATURNIIDAE
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Antheraea Hubner

Type species: mylitta Drury.

Synonyms: Telea Hubner (type species polyphemus Cramer, U.S.A.); Metosamia Druce (type species godmani Druce, Central America); Antheraeopsis Wood-Mason (type species assama Westwood = assamensis Helfer); Carmenta Weymer (praeocc; type species cordifolia Weymer, Sulawesi); Loepantheraea Toxopeus (type species rosieri Toxopeus) syn. n.

This genus of rather typically patterned saturniines is defined by a number of peculiar features of the male genitalia. The valves are deeply bifid, the dorsal lobe bearing several long, robust setae dorsally; the lower lobe is slender, more finely setose. Interior to the valve is a somewhat conical lobe referred to by Arora & Gupta (1979) as the labide. The anellus is strongly sclerotised and has a dorsal projection. There is a massive, rather elongate sclerotised process arising from between the bases of the valve costas that is considered to be the uncus by Arora & Gupta and by Michener (1952); the latter suggested the dorsal process of the anellus was the gnathus, fused to it. The tegumen is produced dorsally into a narrow, rather weakly sclerotised process. The saccus is well developed.


The species rosieri Toxopeus shares all these features and therefore should not be separated in the genus Loepantheraea Toxopeus.

The larvae of both Indian (mylitta Drury) and American (godmani Druce) species are illustrated by Gardiner (1982), and those of several more are described. The American species is shown as bright green, smooth-skinned, with conical spined scoli that are particularly prominent on the thorax and in the caudal zone. The Indian species is more elongate, tapering slightly at each end, and has no obvious scoli but is invested with a more general pilosity, some of which is on tubercles.


The silken cocoon is wrapped in leaf fragments and suspended by a short stalk from a twig.


The genus is mainly Oriental but there are three species in the New World and one representative in the S. Moluccas. The status of Australian taxa attributed to Antheraea needs investigation.

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